The framework defined in this post would set the context and scope for the blog as such. It is easy to get lost in the love for Twitter & Facebook, but as social media analytics practitioners, our responsibility is to always align the social media marketing efforts to business objectives & benefits (This presentation by TheBrandBuilder brings out the need for business connect in a fun way). Fundamentally, social media analytics is one of the pieces in business analytics puzzle. In this context, it is worth considering a logical business analytics life cycle framework.
Presented below is a simplified adaptation to social media analytics life cycle.
Enablers and benefits remain the same as in the business analytics framework. Strictly speaking, all social media marketing efforts should be directed towards achieving either a cost impact or value impact.
First step in social media analytics process is EXTRACTing business relevant data. Broadly, data extraction could have 2 different scopes. For requirements such as brand or campaign monitoring, the scope is all posts from entire social media universe that match to a defined set of keywords or search terms. On the other hand, for requirements such as performance measurement or competitive intelligence, the scope is all posts from a defined set of social media profiles.
After extraction comes the ANALYZE step where we try to clean and make sense of the gathered data. This may involve aspects such as volume trend analysis, ranking posts, ranking profiles, etc. EXTRACT and ANALYZE steps performed on a regular basis constitutes a social media listening program. The findings and insights from a listening exercise could feed into various business functions such as product development, customer support, sales, etc. as depicted in the social analytics lifecyle defined by Ken Burbary and Chuck Hemann (more than a year and a half ago).
Findings from listening exercise should also feed inputs into a brand’s social media PARTICIPATion strategy and plans (e.g. as simple as identifying popular topics relevant to a business/brand in order to become part of those conversations). Once there is active participation, it naturally entails performance assessment for continuous improvement. Focus should be on identifying best practices from the participation experience. This completes the ASSESS part of the cycle.
Now that we have introduced the analytics framework, the next post would focus on a social media tools framework based on the life cycle stages. While we are at it, we would like to know your comments on our framework and if there are related perspectives, please link to them in the comments.
- The Specialization of Social Media Analysis (net-savvy.com)
- Enterprise Social Media Maturity Curve [PDF] (collectiveintellect.com)
- Gartner Puts Social and Analytics at the Center of CRM Trends (customerthink.com)